Assistant Professor Anna-Karina Schmitz

Marketing & Sales Group

Assistant Professor


+49 (0)261 6509 763

Research interests:
Anna-Karina Schmitz is Assistant Professor of Marketing and Director of the Henkel Center for Consumer Goods (HCCG) at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. The focus of her research is the topic of sustainability, which she examines from different perspectives. Thus, she deals with sustainable consumer behavior, trade-offs in sustainability management (e.g. between profit and sustainability), the connection between sustainability, brands and price management, and sustainability communication.

She is particularly interested in the contribution marketing can make to solving current social and economic challenges: How can companies combine sustainability and profit orientation? How can companies make their brands and product portfolios more sustainable, also by developing new business models? How can companies take responsibility for their products and position themselves on issues of social (in)justice? What influence does this have on consumer behavior?

In the areas of brand and price management, Anna-Karina Schmitz also researches the management of brand portfolios and the introduction of brand extensions. Among other things, she is concerned with how growth and higher prices can be achieved through the sustainable enhancement of brands and value creation for consumers.

Short biography:
Anna-Karina Schmitz completed her Bachelor and Master of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Corporate Development and Marketing at the University of Cologne. Before deciding to pursue an academic career, Anna-Karina Schmitz worked in the entertainment industry for over four years and was responsible for the management of various major musical and theater productions in Germany and abroad. She then completed her dissertation at the Chair of Strategy and Marketing at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management on the topic of brand (portfolio) premiumization strategies and took over the position as Director of the Henkel Center for Consumer Goods (HCCG). Anna-Karina Schmitz is a regular speaker and supports companies as a strategic consultant on all aspects of sustainability and marketing.


Marketing and Sales Group

Schmitz, A.-K., Brexendorf, T., Fassnacht, M. (2023), Vertical line extension: a systematic review of reserach on upward and downward line extension, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 32 (6), pp. 828-848.

Marketing and Sales Group

Premiumization as a profit growth strategy

Schmitz, A.-K., Fassnacht, M. (2020), Premiumization as a profit growth strategy: a framework of strategic options, Marketing Review St. Gallen, Vol. 37 (3).